Grant Funding

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At Ayming UK, we support our clients to find and access grant funding for their R&D and Innovation projects, across many sectors and research funding schemes.

What are grants?

Grants are cash incentives available to businesses for projects in areas of government priority, such as innovation and net zero. They differ from other incentives, such as research and development (R&D) tax credits, by providing cash for innovation projects before any expense has been incurred.

Businesses of all sizes can access most grant schemes, although a few are restricted to SMEs. The budget for grants comes from various UK government departments. Grant competitions are advertised and administered by a non-departmental public body called Innovate UK.

The UK government’s budget for innovation grants has seen significant increases in recent years, with Innovate UK’s forecast spend up 65% in the three-year period to 2024–25. Grants for net zero now stand at £4.2b until 2025, so UK businesses have particularly significant opportunities to reduce the costs of decarbonisation or green innovation.

Grants bring additional benefits beyond the cash injection, whether a reputational advantage in the eyes of the public (alignment with government priorities) or private investors (de-risk innovation). Grant funding is competitive, and particular competitions are often only announced 6–8 weeks before the deadline, so a proactive and agile approach is required to successfully access this form of funding.

Why should I consider grant funding?

  • Reduce your costs (covers 50–70%)
  • Grow your revenue
  • De-risk investment
  • On average, an additional 10–25% turnover occurs in the 3–4 years after a grant is awarded
  • Consortium grants strengthen client/supply chain relationships
  • Strengthen your reputation as an innovative, net-zero organisation
  • Strategic alignment with government priorities, supporting:
    • Regulation discussions
    • Market position

UK grant funding

The UK grant funding landscape is diverse, and schemes are available from the UK Government for innovative projects and companies of all shapes, sizes, and sectors.

The primary grant funding stream for business-led R&D projects is via Innovate UK, which offers innovation grants to SMEs, including start-ups, and large companies in both individual and collaborative projects. SMEs or large companies leading collaborative projects can also involve supply chain partners, universities, and other research organisations in their grant-funded innovation projects.

Find out more about UK grant funding

European (EU) grant funding

Horizon Europe is the European Union’s research and innovation framework programme for 2021–2027. With a budget of €95.5 billion, it aims to support cutting-edge research, innovation, and technological development across Europe.

The UK rejoined the Horizon programme in September 2023. UK businesses and researchers can apply for grants under the Horizon programme with certainty that the UK will participate as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme until 2027.

Horizon Europe funding competitions range from smaller innovation grants aimed at SMEs to more extensive consortium grants, involving business-research collaborations across multiple European countries.

Find out more about EU grant funding